do Archive

  • I'm looking for three players to play three sessions of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple via Skype in the coming weeks. Preferably a weekly series before mid-October. More details on this blog post.Reminder: This blog is no longer active. Please updat...

    Want to play Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple with me on Skype?

    I'm looking for three players to play three sessions of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple via Skype in the coming weeks. Preferably a weekly series before mid-October. More details on this blog post.Reminder: This blog is no longer active. Please updat...

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  • 
There is a really long draft of [Do] waiting to be edited by the inestimable Ryan Macklin when he gets a free chunk of time. I mean long. Like, 80,000 words. It's intentionally too long, so Ryan would be able to cut out all but the best 10% of valuabl...

    [Do] Actual Play from Italy!

    There is a really long draft of [Do] waiting to be edited by the inestimable Ryan Macklin when he gets a free chunk of time. I mean long. Like, 80,000 words. It's intentionally too long, so Ryan would be able to cut out all but the best 10% of valuabl...

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  • 
Q: In the unfinished

    [Do] Q&A: What are Allies & Adversaries?

    Q: In the unfinished "Optional Rules" portion of the Google Doc, there is a section title "Allies and Adversaries." What's going in there? Is it a way to reincorporate characters to help or hinder the pilgrims?

    A: Yes, this is an idea I was thinking about for reincorporating characters from previous sessions. I thought it would be interesting if you could bring an older NPC back into a later story so you get these recurring allies and adversaries throughout the Pilgrimage. I'm thinking of the various villains and secondary characters that keep popping up throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    One way to mechanically encourage reincorporation would be something like this: When you bring in a character from a previous session for the first time in the current session, you may re-draw a stone.

    But that doesn't *quite* work out since the order of play goes 1: Draw, 2: Keep, 3: Narrate.

    Perhaps you draw first, then keep whichever stones you wish to keep. That part is normal. By choosing your stones, you know whether your pilgrim will get In Trouble this turn.

    Perhaps if you incorporate an Adversary to get your pilgrim In Trouble, then you can add a point of black or white destiny to your character. Similarly, if your pilgrim is getting Out of Trouble, then you can incorporate an Ally into your narration and add a point of black or white destiny to your character.

    But those are just optional rules, whatever form they might take in the future.

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    Got a question about Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple? Ask it on the official Do blog, on my blog, on Twitter or via email.

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  • 
Q: I was trying to understand what kind of play you were try to solicit through the Goal Words. My only concern: while I think you're right about the risk of turning a very long list into

    [Do] Q&A: What about a rule limiting the usage of Goal Words to one per turn?

    Q: I was trying to understand what kind of play you were try to solicit through the Goal Words. My only concern: while I think you're right about the risk of turning a very long list into "grocery playing," I was thinking about the opposite risk. Meandering after nearly all words have been checked and the group feeling quite awkward about "Well, everything seems resolved - so what now?" Have you thought about some rule like "in a sentence you can include every Goal Word you like but check only only one"?

    A: I have indeed considered a rule stating that there may only be one goal word in a sentence, but decided against it for the following reasons.

    The interesting thing about Do is that Mark Sherry's done the math and figured out the average length of a game session. There is actually an exact number of turns that will be in the average session: 14. Maybe a little more, maybe a little fewer, but usually 14, regardless of the size of the group.

    So if you're only allowed one goal word in a sentence, and your letter has 7 goal words, then you have some room to meander. You only need to use one Goal Word every other turn and you'll probably get the Parades ending.

    If the letter has 14 goal words, then there is a slight chance for a Pitchforks ending, depending on how the players' choose to keep their stones and whether they can think of a way to include the Goal Word in every single turn.

    If the list of Goal Words is 15 or higher, then it's very, very likely that the story will end in Pitchforks. The only option players will have by the endgame is to keep pushing stones back into the bag, stalling for time a few more turns so players can get a chance to not have a Pitchforks ending. In doing so, their pilgrims may get In Trouble (even though the overall story ends with Parades).

    There are two sometimes parallel/sometimes opposing forces at work in a player's decision during their turn. In the long-term, she is deciding whether she wants the story to end with Parades or Pitchforks. But in the short-term, she is deciding whether she is willing to let her own Pilgrim get In Trouble in the process. (There's also a long-long-term factor here, but I won't lengthen an already long blog post.)

    Keep this in mind if you decide to play with the one-Goal-Word-per-sentence rule in your home game.

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    Got a question about Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple? Ask it on the official Do blog, on my blog, on Twitter or via email.

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  • 
Q: It seems too easy to use all the Goal Words before a player reaches 8 stones. (That is, if you intend it to be a challenge at all.) What if a player really aggressively and creatively uses a whole bunch on his turn, but there are still several turn...

    [Do] Q&A: Do some letters have too few Goal Words?

    Q: It seems too easy to use all the Goal Words before a player reaches 8 stones. (That is, if you intend it to be a challenge at all.) What if a player really aggressively and creatively uses a whole bunch on his turn, but there are still several turn...

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  • 
Q: There's an outline in the unfinished portion of the Google doc called

    [Do] Q&A: What's all this stuff about "camels"?

    Q: There's an outline in the unfinished portion of the Google doc called "In Praise of Camels." What's all that about?

    A: There is an old joke here in America that a camel is a horse designed by committee. The joke is supposed to make fun of those situations where too many people have creative input on a project and the result is less than perfect.

    However, I believe that the fun of Do comes from the collaboration, not from creating a perfect work of art. If you spend too much effort focusing on the artifact itself, the creation of that artifact may be less enjoyable. (At least, that's the flavor of fun I'm trying to design. As they say, designers are out of the picture as soon as players touch the game.)

    Note: I'm really only talking about the urge to create a great, perfect story, which is all well and good, but might make players stall during their turn. That's a concern for story-writing, not necessarily story-gaming. There is a lot of advice in the book about maintaining a shared, consistent set of boundaries for the fiction, though.

    So, I celebrate "camels." The stories you make with your friends will be silly, sometimes even nonsensical, but they're *your* stories. You made them together and that experience is the fun.

    ---

    Got a question about Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple? Ask it on the official Do blog, on my blog, on Twitter or via email.

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  • 
A fan from Italy emailed a whole bunch of questions, so I'm going to break them up into a series of posts under the new

    [Do] Q&A: Is there enough in the Google Docs to play?

    A fan from Italy emailed a whole bunch of questions, so I'm going to break them up into a series of posts under the new "mail" tag.

    Q: Is there enough in the Google Docs to play?

    A: The Google Docs are found at http://bit.ly/DoPilgrims1 and http://bit.ly/DoPilgrims2

    Yes, you can play Do from what is in those google docs. The fundamental rules are in place as well as advice and examples of play. The parts that are not yet written, about writing letters and some best practices, are very esoteric and not REALLY directly related to actual play.

    The one drawback is that those docs are REALLY long. They're much longer than what will be in the final book. I wrote all of that content assuming that the editor will delete about half of it, so only the necessary parts will remain. If you're willing to dig through my cluttered text and too-extensive examples of play, be my guest! :D

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    Got a question about Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple? Ask it on the official Do blog, on my blog, on Twitter or via email.

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  • 

I think I've settled on a color palette for the rest of the illustrations. Fewer blacks, but include one

    [Do] Buffalo Wings (Final?)

    I think I've settled on a color palette for the rest of the illustrations. Fewer blacks, but include one "hot" spot of intense red to contrast wherever the blacks are. Everything else is auburn and orange, with sepia throughout. Once again, you can ...

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  • 
It's been a while since I posted a screencast, so here's one of my process coloring one of Liz Hooper's black and white illustrations. (In HD Widescreen!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ-76YVcTsE
So, I'm taking her black and white pencil illustrati...

    [Do] Video: Sepia Atmospheric Perspective

    It's been a while since I posted a screencast, so here's one of my process coloring one of Liz Hooper's black and white illustrations. (In HD Widescreen!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ-76YVcTsE So, I'm taking her black and white pencil illustrati...

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  • 

A first coloring pass at another one of Liz's big illustrations. Got just one more to do after this one, then I'll do a second pass on the rest of the batch using some of the advice y'all gave me in the last art post.

    [Do] Work In Progress – Cowephant

    A first coloring pass at another one of Liz's big illustrations. Got just one more to do after this one, then I'll do a second pass on the rest of the batch using some of the advice y'all gave me in the last art post.

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More here
I'm going through Liz Hooper's grayscale illustrations and adding some color to create more atmospheric perspective. Lower contrast is farther away, higher contrast is closer. I just don't know if it looks muddy now. Hmm... Work continues.

    [Do] Work in Progress – Coloring Liz Hooper's Illustrations

    More here I'm going through Liz Hooper's grayscale illustrations and adding some color to create more atmospheric perspective. Lower contrast is farther away, higher contrast is closer. I just don't know if it looks muddy now. Hmm... Work continues.

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  • 
Mechaphor
noun. A game mechanic acting as a metaphor for a concept in your game's setting, philosophy or general theme.
Example:
In Space: 1889, the system uses cards instead of dice because cards are a sign of more civilized culture than the thuggish...

    Mechaphor

    Mechaphor noun. A game mechanic acting as a metaphor for a concept in your game's setting, philosophy or general theme. Example: In Space: 1889, the system uses cards instead of dice because cards are a sign of more civilized culture than the thuggish...

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  • 
Matt Wilson made a music for Do! It's called

    [Do] Music for Do

    Matt Wilson made a music for Do! It's called "Troublemakers" and it's more fun than a Balkan Beatbox chocobo race! Check out the mp3 here. Matt has way too many talents for human physiology. I suspect his brain will soon explode in a shower of sparkle...

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  • 

Click to embiggen!
This is Liz's last piece of art for Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. Can you believe it's been over a year since she first sent this illustration of Pilgrim Arber the Wooden Tower?

Thanks for all the hard work, Liz. I hope to do...

    [Do] Big Heads – Final

    Click to embiggen! This is Liz's last piece of art for Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. Can you believe it's been over a year since she first sent this illustration of Pilgrim Arber the Wooden Tower? Thanks for all the hard work, Liz. I hope to do...

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  • 
I just submitted Do to Ryan Macklin's editorial wizardry. The writing portion of this project is now mostly out of my hands for the next few months. Here's the letter I sent out to the Evil Hat crew explaining the voice of the text and some other aspe...

    [Do] Coming in for a Landing

    I just submitted Do to Ryan Macklin's editorial wizardry. The writing portion of this project is now mostly out of my hands for the next few months. Here's the letter I sent out to the Evil Hat crew explaining the voice of the text and some other aspe...

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